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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


29 July 2021

Two teenage students of The Royal School Armagh have been appointed to serve as her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets for the County of Armagh.

Cadet Corporal Nicole Hughes and Cadet Sergeant Samuel McWilliams will take on a largely ceremonial year-long role during which they will attend The Earl of Caledon KCVO, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Armagh, on major civic occasions. In recognition of the award the Cadets will each will be entitled to wear a special insignia on their uniform throughout.

The appointments are a signal honour for the teens, both of whom are enthusiastic and accomplished members of their school’s hugely successful Combined Cadet Force.

Described in the formal Citation which accompanies the honour, as a young woman with a rare talent for leadership, and ‘a dedicated cadet who takes pride in everything she does, Nicole Hughes is praised for inspiring, motivating and nurturing the new recruits for whom she has been given responsibility. She is an industrious and conscientious Cadet with a passion for The Great Outdoors, tackling a vast range of outdoor activities and sports with enthusiasm and unfailing good humour and demonstrating skills in everything from mountain biking, archery, hockey, paint balling, shooting and netball to strenuous hill-walking. Nicole successfully completed a complex bushcraft and survival skills course run during Covid-19 restrictions in Gosford Forest Park.

She regularly represents her CCF in competitions and, more widely within the school, is a dedicated member of the choir and the Scripture Union as well as being Captain of the junior netball team.

Despite her busy school agenda, Nicole still makes time to act as leader in her local church children’s club and has raised funds for Macmillan, Marie Curie and Hope India. She even had her long hair cut and donated it to Little Princess Trust.

Cadet Sergeant Samuel McWilliams, a longstanding and popular member of The Royal School Armagh Combined Cadet Force, brings to his new role an excellent record of achievement, both academically and within the Cadet movement.

In addition to successfully completing the demanding Advanced Army Proficiency Certificate Syllabus, the St Johns Ambulance Youth First Aid Certificate, his Senior Cadet Instructors Cadre, the Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme, Samuel is well on his way to completing the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Within the Cadet movement Samuel has not only developed his leadership skills, but has also demonstrated his capacity to contribute and support team endeavours. He was part of the team which won the regional Local Heroes history and research project, and has successfully taken part in Military Skills and National First Aid competitions.

Samuel has many interests outside of Cadets, and is a regular worshipper at his local church and an and active figure in the Sunday School where he assists with the Church Youth Group. He is also a member of 1st Armagh Scouts where he enjoys climbing, canoeing, archery, hiking and camping, often using his leadership talents as well as the practical skills learned in the Cadets to help with the Junior Scouts and Cubs.

Nicole and Samuel are each pictured with The Earl of Caledon, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Armagh. While the ceremony to mark the conferral of the prestigious award was socially-distanced, the pair are already looking forward to a busy year ahead as restrictions lift.